Darlington community groups share £41,000 in funding

FIVE community groups in Darlington are more than £41,000 better off after being awarded funding for a variety of healthy projects.

NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the local NHS group responsible for planning and buying most of the health services in the town, identified worthy projects to fund using a Dragons Den-style approach.

The GP-led group invited local voluntary and community organisations to get involved in addressing health issues by bidding for funds from a Community Innovation Fund.

Using a similar format to the popular television series , the CCG set aside a pot of funding and asked bidders to pitch their ideas to a panel of Dragons, including local GPs.

The successful projects (with allocation in brackets) were:

*Skerne Park Community Enterprise Association (£7,900) Parkside childcare based in the Skerne Park area of Darlington works in conjunction with other organisations to deliver a healthy start pack for families which meet the criteria.

*The 700 Club (£13,952) Based in Grange Road Baptist Church, the club delivers services to the homeless or those at risk of being homeless. Their project will provide health lifestyle coaching to their client group; helping people to better understand how lifestyle can impact on health.

*AGE UK (£6,240) Based at Beaumont Street West in the town, AGE UK has already established a number of popular cafes for local people, including a Stroke Club, Dementia Cafe, Veterans Cafe and a Friendship Group. The charity plans to establish a further five cafes for older people in Darlington, focusing on healthy hearts, alcohol reduction, depression, hearing loss and macular.

*Alzheimers Society (£9,957) The Alzheimers Society plans to establish two new activities in Darlington for people affected by dementia. Using experience from successful groups elsewhere in the country, the society plans to introduce a Singing in the Brain group, a music-themed activity in Darlington that will run fortnightly and provide attendees with a social and fun activity.

*Groundwork North East (£11,628) Based on Victoria Road, Groundwork plans to introduce inclusive play activities for children aged five to 13-years-old who live in some of the most disadvantaged areas in the Borough. Dr Andrea Jones, chair of Darlington CCG said: We were very excited to hear the groups pitch their projects to our group of Dragons and would like to thank everyone who put in a bid for our community innovation fund.

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1:16pm Mon 30 Dec 13

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